I’ve told you before that I am a sucker for a yummy salad. So when my friend brought this AMAZING Vegetable Salad with Italian Basil Dressing to our Bible study one night, I was hooked. She said it was simple and took all of 5 minutes to make. She sent me over to Jenn at Once Upon a Chef who created the original recipe. I have now made this dressing several times and love it! I have made a few tweeks here and there and have finally settled on what I think is the perfect combination. Let me show you how easy it is:
There really is no right or wrong way to make this salad! That being said, I think there are more tasty combinations of vegetables than others and some that really highlight the Italian basil dressing best. I opt for a head of romaine lettuce, a large red bell pepper, and a large cucumber. Then I peel in a large carrot and a 6 oz package of cherry tomatoes cut in half. At the end, I top the salad with 3 oz of crumbled Feta cheese.
All mixed together the salad is bright, colorful, and healthy! I have served this salad many times to friends and the same question always comes up, “What was in that delicious dressing?” Well, let me tell ya…
The Italian Basil Dressing
All you need is your food processor and a sturdy spatula. This recipe is bulky until blended, so I use my 9 cup food processor. If yours is smaller, don’t worry! Just pulse the ingredients in batches. Here’s what you’ll need:
a handful of roughly chopped parsley 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
10-14 big basil leaves (no stems) 3/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 tsp fresh oregano 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
2 peeled garlic cloves 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1.5 tsp honey
Pulse everything together until the Italian basil dressing is nice and smooth.
Now you have the most dreamy green dressing on the planet! I can’t explain how fresh this tastes; it’s like an aromatic herb garden pureed into liquid form. You simply have to try it! It truly is hard not to sit there and lick the bowl. (P.S. I bet this would be amazing on top of grilled chicken!)
The Finished Product
The Italian basil dressing tastes best on the salad if it is tossed among the greens and not just drizzled on top. If you have dressing leftover (which I doubt because it is incredibly addicting) then pour it into a mason jar or glass bowl with a lid and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. The following list contains the main courses I think would go best with this salad and why:
- Crockpot Bolognese Sauce– It continues the Italian theme and makes your house smell amazing while it simmers all day.
- One-Pan Apricot Sage Chicken– It is a healthy summery dish that only takes 30 minutes to make.
- 3 Ingredient Slow Cooked Chuck Roast– It’s robust flavor would pair nicely with this light salad.
- 3 Cheese Baked Macaroni and Cheese– You can prepare it ahead of time and it makes great leftovers.
If this salad doesn’t grab you and you’re interested in others, you may want to check out the salads on the recipe index or follow my Sweet and Savory Salad Board on Pinterest. Happy Cooking ya’ll!
- For the salad:
- 1 head Romaine
- red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large cucumber, chopped
- large carrot, peeled
- 6 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 3 oz crumbled Feta cheese
- For the dressing:
- handful of parsley, roughly chopped
- 10-14 large basil leaves
- ¼ tsp fresh oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1.5 tsp honey
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¾ cup light olive oil
- ¾ tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
- Chop all vegetables and set into a large bowl. Top with cheese.
- Puree all dressing ingredients in food processor.
- Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Toss salad with dressing and serve.
- Put leftover dressing in a glass container and refrigerate up to one week.